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Domestic Abuse Suspect Accused of Brandishing Firearm During Reported Confrontation

By Tiffany DeMasters
July 19, 2022, 5:00 PM HST
* Updated July 19, 3:57 PM
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Jerome Thompson

A Hilo man accused of brandishing a firearm at two 16-year-olds after assaulting a woman outside a Hilo apartment is slated to appear for a preliminary hearing in District Court Wednesday afternoon.

Twenty-five-year-old Jerome Thompson is facing six counts stemming from the July 14 incident at the Hale Ulu Hoi III Apartments on Laukapu Street. He appeared for an initial appearance in Hilo District Court on Monday, July 18, on charges of abuse of a family or household member, first-degree terroristic threatening, permits to acquire, alteration of identification marks prohibited, place to keep pistol or revolver, and registration mandatory.

The most serious offense, place to keep pistol or revolver, is a class B felony offense which carries a penalty of a 10-year prison term or four years of probation and up to 18 months of jail.

Thompson appeared in Hilo District Court on Monday, July 18, where Judge Jeffrey Hawk denied the defense’s request for supervised release and confirmed bail at $40,000. He is slated to appear for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

According to Hawai‘i Police Department’s probable cause statement filed with the court, the 21-year-old reported victim arrived at her apartment and found Thompson standing in front of the door. The PC statement indicates he began yelling at the woman and the altercation turned physical when Thompson struck her with a closed fist to the right side of her head.

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The alleged victim told police in the PC statement “Thompson continued hitting her with both hands approximately 10 more times to both sides of head and chest area causing pain and discomfort.”

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The woman was accompanied by three friends, a 21-year-old woman and two 16-year-old males. According to the PC statement, Thompson brandished a gun at the group after one of teens pushed the suspect off of the alleged victim.

The teen told police he feared for his life and safety as “Thompson racked the pistol back and he did not know if there was a bullet in the gun or not.”

Thompson fled the scene when officers arrived. He was later apprehended. The firearm was identified as a Glock 17. According to the PC statement, the 25-year-old agreed to talk to police without lawyers present.

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During the confrontation, Thompson told authorities he slapped the reported female victim once on the cheek. When asked about the gun, the suspect said he held the weapon in his right hand pointing toward the ground while talking aggressively at the two teens.

“During this confrontation, he described while holding the gun in his hand, his hand moved from side to side as he was talking,” Thompson recalled, according to the PC statement. “Thompson stated he did not point his gun at anyone.”

The suspect told police he traded his vehicle for the gun, which he claimed had its serial number scratched off when he got it.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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